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Goals

This course has two important goals:

  1. To enhance your medical-surgical nursing practice by providing updated evidence-based information that can directly improve patient care;
  2. To assist you in preparing for national certification in medical-surgical nursing by updating your knowledge base, increasing your confidence and improving your test-taking abilities.

Whether your primary goal is to enhance your nursing practice or to prepare for certification, this course can help you in identifying your areas of strength and weakness.

  • When you hear something you already know, say to yourself, “CHECK – Got that.” The review will serve to validate your current knowledge and skills. 
  • When you hear something new, consider ways to apply this new knowledge to your practice and share it with your colleagues.
  • When you find an area of weakness, read and review chapters in the textbooks and seek out colleagues who can help you process the new information. Your Nurse Mentor is also an excellent resource if you have questions about content. Extra study will help enhance your clinical practice and ensure success on the certification exam.

Course History

The course has been offered in a variety of formats since 2002 by the University of Washington School of Nursing and University of Washington Medical Center. Development has been supported in part by funds from two training grants from the Division of Nursing, Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Department of Health and Human Services, to the University of Washington School of Nursing: Grant #D11HP03123, “Expanded Practice in Medical-Surgical Nursing” (2004-2007) and Grant #D11HP14630, “Using Technology to Enhance Medical-Surgical Nursing Practice” (2009-2012).   

Nurse Mentor

An experienced medical-surgical nurse educator will guide you through the course, answer questions and monitor your progress towards completion. You can submit questions and discuss practice issues with your mentor. There is an “ask the nurse mentor” feature (button) displayed on the landing page of each topic. The nurse mentor will respond to your questions within 1-2 business days.

Format

Teaching methods are geared to the adult learner. You can work at your own pace, with 24/7 access to class materials and activities. The course offers a variety of learning activities to make your experience interesting and fun, such as lectures, case studies, practice tests, clinical examples and supplementary web resources. You can print handouts for each lecture and develop your own reference notebook.

Lectures were recorded live at the University of Washington during the onsite course held January-April, 2018. The course was presented over 15 consecutive weeks to over 200 nurses at hospitals in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. During lectures, you may hear facilitators refer to weeks 1 to 15. However, for this online course, content is to be completed at your own pace, within 365 days of your date of registration. Your Nurse Mentor will always be available by e-mail to answer questions and concerns, respond to your assignments, and provide general encouragement throughout the course.

Web-Based Learning

All coursework is to be completed online, and content may be accessed on any computer, tablet or device connected to the internet. Some features of the classroom are incompatible with Internet Explorer. Please use an alternate web browser (e.g., Chrome, Firefox or Safari) for best results. For an orientation to the online classroom, visit: www.uwcne.org/med-surg-365-orientation 

A Typical Topic

All lectures are provided in video format, with an accompanying downloadable handout of lecture slides. For each topic, you will complete a practice test and an evaluation of the speaker’s teaching effectiveness.

  1. Lecture: Each topic includes a lecture that is 1-3 hours in length.
  2. Practice Test (Required): See below.
  3. Questions and Answers: During the lectures, you may hear speakers answer questions from nurses in the onsite course. Occasionally, answers to questions submitted after class are posted in the corresponding topic. When you have a question, submit it to the nurse mentor. The nurse mentor/instructor will research your question and reply back to you via email.
  4. Evaluation (Required): Complete the online evaluation for each topic. Your feedback will be used to identify areas of success as well as ways to improve the course. Constructive suggestions and encouraging remarks will be shared with the speaker, planning committee and technical support staff – all of whom are eager to make this a positive experience for you! If you encounter technical difficulties or urgent issues affecting content delivery, please contact UWCNE staff directly.

Tests

The practice tests are non-graded, and are intended to be a tool for you to assess your own understanding of course content. When you submit your answers, you will receive a score and feedback for each question. Scoring and feedback have been designed to enhance your learning and test-taking skills. We suggest that you time yourself, allowing only 1 minute per question, to simulate the certification testing experience.

Some test questions relate to content presented by speakers and others to content not covered in class. This is intentional to help you evaluate areas for additional study. Answers are provided, along with a rationale and test-taking tips. It is important to understand why an answer is right or wrong and how to analyze a question to improve your chances of answering other questions correctly.

Speakers and Content

Content is presented by currently practicing clinical experts and educators in Seattle-area medical centers. Speakers address key topics and issues targeted for the experienced medical-surgical nurse. Since speakers cannot cover everything about their topic in one lecture, they focus on content particularly useful in clinical practice, content frequently tested on certification exams, and content not covered well in the review texts. For example, in relation to skin, the review books include a good overview of skin lesions, basal cell carcinomas, melanoma, burns, Lyme disease, and squamous cell carcinoma. Therefore, we do not include all of these topics in class or on the practice test. To prepare adequately for certification, you should expect to study independently outside of class.

Recommended Texts

Books listed on the reading list are recommended, but are not required. Completion of the course is possible without the books. Many participants find further study to be helpful, especially for reviewing content not included by speakers and for additional practice test exercises. A reading list for each topic is included in the Resource Center.

The two texts recommended to supplement this course are:

  • Lippincott’s Review for Medical-Surgical Nursing Certification, 5th Edition (2012). Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins. ISBN: 978-1451116571
  • Craven, Heather (Ed.), Core Curriculum for Medical-Surgical Nursing, 5th Edition (2016). Pitman, New Jersey: Academy of Medical-Surgical Nurses. ISBN: 978-1-940325-21-7

Assignments

Two clinical examples are required as part of the for-credit coursework. Clinical examples are reflective assignments in which you relate something you have learned during class with your clinical practice. Most topics include a short video of clinical examples submitted by nurses during the onsite course.

Supplementary Resources

Tips for preparing for certification, taking an exam, and observing an evidence-based practice are addressed in supplementary (non-credit) media presentations, activities, and external links. Supplementary resources may be accessed via the Resource Center. Handouts to accompany the presentations are provided.

Course Requirements

Requirements for successful completion of the course are as follows:

  1. Complete the pre-test, participant profile and student agreement.
  2. View the lectures, and complete practice tests and evaluations in each of the 17 topics.
  3. Submit two (2) clinical examples.
  4. Complete the post-test and final evaluation.

Professional Credit

UWCNE is proud to be accredited with distinction as a provider of Continuing Nursing Education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation (ANCC).

Upon completion of 100% of Course Requirements, you will be awarded a certificate for 46.5 contact hours. Course requirements must be completed by the end of your enrollment period to be eligible for a contact hour certificate. No partial credit will be awarded under any circumstances.

Nurses: UWCNE is accredited with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation (ANCC).

Nurses (California): Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, #7218.

Respiratory Therapists: UWCNE qualifies as a Washington State CE program sponsor under the Washington Administrative Code, WAC 246-928-442.

School Personnel: UWCNE is approved as a Washington State clock hour provider by the Washington State Board of Education.

Social Workers and Counselors: UWCNE qualifies as a Washington State CE program sponsor for social workers and counselors under WAC 246-809-610.

Psychologists: UWCNE qualifies as a Washington State CE program sponsor for psychologists under WAC 246-924-240.

All Other Disciplines: A certificate of contact hours is awarded for successful completion.

Participating as a Co-Sponsoring Agency

Hospitals and medicals centers in all regions of the country are eligible to participate as co-sponsors of the medical-surgical nursing hybrid programs. For more information about hosting this course for a cohort of learners at your agency, contact Continuing Nursing Education at the University of Washington School of Nursing: cne@uw.edu, 206-543-1047.